Amanda Knox to defend against a 16-year-old slander accusation in an Italian court by herself

This week, Amanda Knox returns to an Italian courtroom to defend herself against a 16-year-old slander conviction. She hopes to finally beat the charge and clear her name.

In November 2007, Amanda Knox’s British roommate was murdered, and she was subjected to a grueling night of questioning by Italian authorities. However, her fortunes changed when a European court ruled that Italy had violated her human rights. This ruling opened the door for her to clear her name and move forward from the traumatic experience.

Throughout her trial, Amanda Knox faced several charges in the murder case of her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in their shared apartment in Perugia. However, despite being cleared in five court rulings, Knox’s conviction for slandering a Congolese bar owner in connection with the case still stands.

After more than 12 1/2 years, Amanda Knox will attend an Italian court for the first time on Wednesday in the retrial of the slander case, with a verdict expected to be delivered by Italy’s highest court.

During the early hours of November 6, 2007, police in Italy questioned Amanda Knox without a lawyer or competent translator present. Knox signed two statements typed by the police, which formed the basis of the slander charge against her. However, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that these conditions violated her human rights.

The world was captivated by the heinous murder of Kercher, which led to suspicion surrounding Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, whom she had only been dating for a week at the time.

In their initial trial, Knox and Sollecito were found guilty. However, they faced a series of changing verdicts until they were finally acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015. After her first acquittal, Knox returned to the United States and is now a mother of two young children. Together with her husband, she hosts a podcast and advocates against wrongful convictions.

Despite the conviction of Rudy Hermann Guede, a man from Ivory Coast whose DNA was found at the crime scene, Knox’s slander conviction persisted, which fueled doubts about her involvement in the killing, particularly in Italy.

After a fast-track trial that allows for reduced sentences under Italian law, Guede was sentenced to 16 years in prison, of which he served 13 years.

Last November, Italy’s highest court dismissed Knox’s slander conviction following a ruling by the European court. The two statements typed by police were deemed inadmissible, and a new trial was ordered. The Florence court was instructed to only consider a handwritten statement that Knox wrote in English several hours later.

“I want to clarify that I am highly skeptical of the truthfulness of the statements I made last night. The reason being, they were given under incredibly stressful, shocking, and exhausting circumstances,” she stated.

According to Sal Kassin, a renowned expert in the field of false confessions, Knox’s signed statements closely resemble the typical pattern found in false confessions. Kassin’s research has been influential in exposing the flaws in the interrogation process that can lead to wrongful convictions.

According to Kassin, a psychologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, most false confessions consist of both accurate details that haven’t been made public and untrue information that aligns with the police theory of the crime. In his book “Duped,” which delves into the issue of false confessions, Kassin discusses this phenomenon and provides empirical evidence to support it.

According to Kassin, Knox’s confession was “contaminated” by the police, who were following their theory at the time.

In response to the statement, he wrote that it is absurd to hold her accountable for a statement that also implicates herself.


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